"I would ask that each one of us commit to join together to aid those in need as quickly as possible. As John has been saying for the last several days, this is a time when we take off our Republican hats and put on our American hats," Cindy McCain told the crowd.
First lady Laura Bush, who is far more popular with the American public than her husband is, introduced a video featuring all the Gulf Coast governors except Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who was coordinating relief efforts in his state.
"Our first priority for today and in the coming days is to ensure the safety and well-being of those living in the Gulf Coast region," Laura Bush told delegates after she received a standing ovation from the Republican crowd.
Cindy McCain was everywhere Monday in Minneapolis, visiting with delegates, and at phone banks the Republicans set up to fundraise for the Red Cross, and at a care package assembly center.
The chairman of the party asked delegates to send text message donations.
At the Louisiana delegation, families gushed over the attention from Republican presidential nominee John McCain. The McCain campaign paid for a charter jet to take some Louisiana delegates back home from the convention to help with the evacuation efforts and reunite with family.
"He's our hero," said Louisiana delegate Vickie Davies of McCain. "He saved the day. He sent the plane and brought them here so we're overjoyed."
Some parties were replaced by prayer breakfasts, such as one hosted by the Florida delegation Monday.
"We canceled several of our parties. We're taking those proceeds and donating them to the American Red Cross," said Jim Greer, chairman of the Florida Republican Party.
Ever mindful of the Bush administration's bungling of Katrina and its aftermath, Republicans see an opportunity to contrast McCain's handling of Gustav with Bush's handing of Katrina.
But not everyone stopped partying.
The NRA, Lockheed Martin, the American Trucking Association and a Republican lobbying firm called the LeMunyon Group hosted a party at Gluek's Restaurant & Bar in Minneapolis for about 200 people Sunday night that went on into the wee hours of Monday morning as planned.
Another group that did not curtail its efforts because of the storm was the Coalition to March on the RNC and Stop the War, which held a large anti-Iraq war protest at the Minnesota State Capitol Building. Following the rally, protesters marched to the convention hall. Several people were arrested.
Political analysts argue the convention could turn to politics as usual unless Palin has any more revelations in store for the national media and the public.
"I think the problem is is how this information came out," said Matthew Dowd, a former Republican strategist and ABC News contributor. "If it's true that they [McCain campaign] fully vetted her and they had all this information and knew all this kind of stuff, then it should have been given to the press so that the press didn't find it out piecemeal."
"I think the problem we have here is that the information as we get it, and being from Alaska, we don't know what else is out there," Dowd said.
ABC News' Ursula Fahy and Julia Bain contributed to this report.